A pair of Swiss engineers recently unveiled a whole new concept in air travel, closely aligned with the kind of luxury superyacht travel that’s exclusive to the .01%: the AirYacht. That is just what it sounds like—a 197-foot superyacht that is transported ever so lightly across the globe in midair, rather than on the water. And here’s where it gets even more fanciful: it’s carried on the underside of a detachable, helium-powered, 656-foot blimp.
AirYacht’s founders Guillaume Hoddé and Matthieu Ozanne share a longtime love of flying, with Hoddé blasting along in high-speed planes and Ozanne drifting on the wind in ultralight aircraft and as a paraglider. They credit their complementary flight experiences with having enabled them to conceive of and develop, together, the AirYacht, with an exterior designed by seasoned superyacht designer Franck Darnet. The blimp, or “airship” as the engineers call it, flies with a crew of three at nearly 10,000 feet above the ground and can reach 50 knots at full tilt. The attached superyacht, or “residence,” is made of ultralight carbon fiber for fuel-efficient transport either in the air or on water (where, without its own propulsion, it’s tugged along by the blimp).
But this yacht is no lightweight when it comes to amenities. With 8,000 square feet of living space and a three-level layout featuring either five or six staterooms (plus accommodations for a 12-piece crew), 12 guests can enjoy a pool, gym, Jacuzzi, sauna, gym, car garage, and even a helipad. And for short stopovers along a journey, a 12-person elevator drops down to deliver guests to land without the yacht itself having to touch the ground. Alternatively, for longer landings, the yacht itself can be lowered to the ground while the blimp remains in midair. Furthermore, as is only appropriate for a form of luxury transport that is meant to be kinder on the environment than a typically fuel-guzzling superyacht or plane, daily operations aboard the AirYacht are also kept sustainable with water recycling, energy efficiency, and fuel-cell power technology.
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